“My life is in my hands, and I love it!”
Tony Radna thrived on life, skating, body surfing, snowboarding and being a culinary genius. So, in 2007, a small fall while getting out of his care, and a chipped tooth, was nothing to worry about – he had shaken small injuries before. Later that night, a simple twist of his neck completed the injury, breaking his neck at C5-C6, and leaving him paralyzed from the neck down for 16 hours.
A friend found him (with the help of Tony’s dog Zeke) and the next days were a rush as surgeries for his neck. After several days in ICU, Tony went to rehabilitation and was given a troubling outlook of “it’s a complete spinal cord injury and you will need 24 hour care for life.” Physical and emotional stress was at a high. The next four months changed that during intensive therapy. Tony regained some movement and sensation, and moved quickly from power wheelchair to manual chair to a walker, and even on his own. He was healing to the physical and creative life he felt he lost. After returning home, he continued rehabilitation, but it slowed faster than he could reach his goals of optimal function.
The Challenge Center quickly stepped in, meeting his physical therapy and financial needs, to ensure he would keep moving forward. Tony was walking, even running. He began to drive (a 1977 Alfa Romero Convertible!). Next, his hand use was up to help get back to his culinary goals. Latest, but not the least, Tony took off for Durango, Colorado and skied for four days! While Challenge Center worked with Tony to help them regain physical strength and mobility, we also encouraged him to continue growing and following his dreams to heal the entire self and continue thriving in life.